Brix levels indicate a plant’s growing conditions by measuring dissolved sugars, proteins, amino acids, essential oils, minerals and other solids. Plants with higher brix levels produce more fragrant flowers with greater concentrations of essential oils and grow better-tasting, more nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Brix Levels and Soil Health
Not surprisingly, plants grown in remineralized soil have greater brix levels than plants grown in soil that is mineral deficient. The slow-release benefits of crushed volcanic basalt in particular make it effective in minimizing deficiencies, especially with fast-growing crop plants that experience periods of rapid nutrient uptake.
Unlike other types of soil amendments, volcanic basalt is rich in potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and iron —all of which help increase root growth and boost yields. Volcanic basalt also contains soluble silicon which contributes to the strength of cell walls and makes crops more resistant to pests and disease.
Research dating back to the 1930s shows that volcanic basalt promotes general plant health in a wide variety of crops and conditions, including those in indoor growing situations where mineral deficiency can be an issue.
Brix Measurement Tools
To the naked eye, early nutrient deficiencies in crops are often invisible. Taking regular brix measurements is one way to detect problems while there is still time to make necessary adjustments.
Measuring brix levels is relatively easy to do with a refractometer, an inexpensive yet highly effective piece of equipment that works like a prism to measure sugar content in liquid. Simply squeeze a few drops of sap from a leaf sample onto a glass slide to determine the percentage of sugars and other dissolved solids.
Digital refractometers are also available at most hydroponic stores. While they generally cost more, they also deliver more accurate results.
The Proof is in the Brix
What about the produce in supermarkets that looks good but doesn’t taste very good? Low brix levels are likely. The easiest way to get great-tasting, healthy and nutrient-dense food is to grow it yourself, in soil that has been remineralized with volcanic basalt.
Cascade Minerals’ mission is to help people eat more nutritious food that they grow themselves. Our all-natural Remineralizing Soil Booster is made from massive basalt stones from Central Oregon’s legendary Cascade Mountains. Rocks are crushed to produce a finely milled, 100% natural product that is approved for organic production and releases the essential minerals and trace elements that plants and humans need to flourish.